Legendary hockey voice Rick Jeanneret diagnosed with throat cancer, aims to return this season

Jason Kay
Tampa Bay Lightning v Buffalo Sabres

The Buffalo News is reporting that legendary play-by-play man Rick Jeanneret has been diagnosed with stage III throat cancer.

The 71-year-old native of St. Catharines, Ont., told the media outlet he’ll have radiation and possibly chemotherapy for a malignant, golf-ball sized tumor in the coming weeks. He says doctors told him he has an 85 per cent chance of recovery, and Jeanneret said he has “every intention of coming back this season.”

That sentiment was repeated in a Tweet by Buffalo radio station WGR550.

Sabres

The 2012 winner of the Hall of Fame’s Foster Hewitt Award, Jeanneret has gained renown for his compelling calls of Sabres games for the past 43 years and his ability to uniquely and memorably capture moments. He has enriched our shared experience, drawing us in with his instantly recognizable voice, his urgent-bordering-on-frantic tones and his marvelous expressions.

For those not as intimate with Jeanneret, his most famous call came on April 24, 1993 when Brad May scored an overtime winner against New Jersey. Here’s a sampling from YouTube of Jeanneret at his best.

The Sabres issued a press release this morning, stating they were “deeply saddened to learn of his diagnosis” and that they wish Jeanneret a speedy recovery. They said the family has requested privacy, but that fans who want to wish him well can do so at: GetWellRJ@sabres.com.

The Hockey News adds its voice to the chorus of thousands hoping for his quick return to health.